Almost all US Visa applicants will now have to offer details of their social media as per the newly adopted laws. This was announced by the US Department of State. It has said that people will have to provide social media names, email addresses and phone numbers for the last 5 years.
The new rules for US Visa applicants were first proposed in 2018 March. The authorities had then estimated that it would affect 14.7 million individuals every year. Some official and diplomatic Visa applicants would be exempted from the strict new rules.
Nevertheless, individuals arriving in the US for Study or Work will have to offer their details.
The Department said that it is continually working to identify methods for enhancing the screening processes. This is to safeguard US nationals while also supporting lawful travel to the US, it added.
Earlier, only individuals who required extra vetting had to offer these details. It included people who had visited areas that were controlled by terrorist outfits.
However, now almost all US Visa applicants will have to offer their account names on several social media platforms. They will have to volunteer the information of their accounts on any unlisted sites.
Anybody who offers false information regarding their usage of social media would face stern immigration penalties. This was revealed by an official of the Trump administration, as quoted by the BBC.
When the rules were first proposed last year, the American Civil Liberties Union had not supported the idea. The civil rights group had said that there was no proof that monitoring social media in this way was fair or effective. This would result in individuals self-censoring themselves online, added ACLU.
Donald Trump the US President made a crackdown on immigration a chief plank for his election campaign in 2016. He had demanded excessive vetting of migrants prior to and after assuming the office.
Donald Trump also has vowed to enforce steadily increasing tariffs on Mexico. This is until the nation curbed unlawful immigration at the US border southwards.
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